About Taxis

Taxis, as a concept, have been around since the 17th century. Nowadays though we recognise them as fundamentally two types of taxis.

Taxi Type A (Hackney Carriage)

Hackney Carriage

Taxi Type B (Private Hire)

Private Hire Car

The average UK citizen sees them both as taxis, but oddly the law says differently.

Taxi Type A

Taxi Type A - is known within the industry as a ‘Hackney Carriage’. But more importantly they have the right to be called ‘A Taxi’.

Hackney Carriages can be hailed or flagged down on the street and generally charge more (around 20% or so more) than Private Hire drivers (Taxi Type B). Hackney Carriages have meters that continue to charge when the vehicle is in traffic.

Hackney Carriages usually increase their rates at around 11pm.

Nowadays, Hackney Carriages can be almost any vehicle and not just the traditional black cab. You can usually identify them by the Taxi light on their roofs.

Taxi Type B

Taxi Type B - is what most people outside of London would call a taxi, however, this is actually known within the industry as a ‘Private Hire’.

Private Hire cannot legally be hailed which is bizarre. They have to be pre-booked. In this day and age of consumer safety, you could be walking home in the freezing cold, but you still can’t hail an empty Private Hire vehicle. It’s completely bonkers!

Private Hire vehicles are generally prohibited from using words like ‘Taxi’ or ‘Cab’ to describe themselves thereby preventing them from being fairly competitive when marketing themselves against Hackney Carriages.

Private Hire generally charge on mileage and do not charge more when stuck in traffic. Private Hire usually increase their rates at midnight.

How to become a taxi driver in Basingstoke

If you’d like to apply to be a private hire driver in Basingstoke you can download a guidance and application pack from the Basingstoke and Deane website. The pack outlines the procedure to be followed in order to apply for a new private hire drivers licence and includes all relevant application forms and fees.

Applicants will need to satisfy the council that they are ‘fit and proper’ to hold a private hire drivers licence and transport members of the public.

All taxi drivers are required to have an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS), formerly known as a Criminal Record Bureau (CRB), check every 3 years. If you were born in or have lived in another country or countries other than the UK for more than six months you will need to provide the relevant criminal history from each country (called a Good Conduct Bond).

Find out more about becoming a Taxi driver in Basingstoke.

Become a taxi driver